Led Zeppelin III (Remastered Original CD)
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Led Zeppelin III (2014 Remaster)
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John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant came together in 1968 as Led Zeppelin. Over the next decade, the band would become one of the most influential, innovative and successful groups in modern music, selling more than 300 million albums worldwide. Their songs are some of the most celebrated in rock n roll history that, to this day, resonate with fans young and old around the globe. Still, no matter how many times you may have listened to their music, you ve never heard Led Zeppelin like this before.
With the 2014 release of deluxe editions of Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, & Led Zeppelin III, the band will launch an extensive reissue program of all nine of its studio albums in chronological order, each remastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page.
Following the whirlwind success of their first two albums and near constant touring, Page and Plant took to the now famous Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Wales in 1970 to start the early composition of Led Zeppelin III. They later convened with Bonham and Jones for rehearsals before entering London s Olympic Studios to begin recording in May 1970. Fueled by classic tracks such as "Immigrant Song" and "Since I ve Been Loving You, " the album soared to the top of charts worldwide upon its release in October of 1970 and has since been certified 6x platinum.
Led Zeppelin continues to be honored for its pivotal role in music history. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and a year later was awarded with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. Founding members Jones, Page and Plant along with Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham took the stage at London s O2 Arena in 2007 to headline a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun, a dear friend and Atlantic Records founder. The band was honored for its lifetime contribution to American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012. In January of 2014, the band won their first ever Grammy award as Celebration Day, which captured their live performance at the Ertegun tribute concert, was named Best Rock Album.
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Read all these amazing reviews and gave them a shot...
Honestly have no idea what the big deal is or what the difference is from the original / old ones I already had (and I've listened to them about a thousand times - easily)...
Unimpressed by the 2nd disc as well...
Waste of money
This new set and product is about all you can hope for in the remastering process. It's suitably loud, and the bass and drums in particular sound fantastic, but it's tempered, labored over, and always dynamic when it needs to be. The packaging is first rate and beautiful on the deluxe version, mirroring the original LP release as much as possible. The second disc of rarities and outtakes is worth it, but not essential compared to the masterpiece of disc one. There is nothing that anyone could really complain about. The old and crusty masters have now been replaced with fantastic and dynamic yet strong and clear masters that get us as close as we could possibly be. There are also 24-96 downloads for those that want the very best.
Led Zeppelin III was released between 2 of the greatest rock albums ever; Led Zeppelin II and IV. It is over-shadowed by them, but is still a great album. Led Zeppelin III is more experimental, more folksy, more blues, and more varied.
The restored sound is very good. Page has kept close to the original sound, which is good and bad. Much of Led Zeppelin's music has (surprisingly) mediocre sound quality.
It is a subjective things, but I find the treble on most of Led Zeppelin III overpowering. On some songs, sub-bass is almost non-existent. But then, that why they put bass and treble controls on stereos.
Like most albums of restore music, they include a bonus disc of music; alternate mixes, unfinished music, demos, etc. I would give this bonus disc a -C. It is below average. Most of the music is not very interesting alternate mixes. Something to listen to 1 time out of curiosity.
The greatest omission is "Hey Hey What Can I Do" one of Zeppelin's most popular songs. It was recorded during the Led Zeppelin III sessions but inexplicable left off the album and it is not included on the bonus disc. I have no idea why this would not have been included. It seems like the perfect place to put it.
There is one gem hiding on the bonus disc. The last song, "Trouble In Mind" is great. The mix is demo-like. It could use some mastering, but still, it is very good. It is another blues homage. It is far better than "Hats Off To Harper."
"Hats Off To Harper" is the one song on Led Zeppelin III, I do not like. I get it that it is a blues homage but I find the distorted audio irritating. It is just not a pleasant song to listen to, but maybe that is the point. I would have left "Hats Off To Harper" off the album and replaced it with "Trouble In Mind."
Though the bonus disc is mostly a disappointment, I highly recommend this Jimmy Page restored version of Led Zeppelin III.
PS: I used Adobe Audition to adjust sound of Led Zeppelin III to my taste, i.e. less treble, more sub bass. I burned the music to CD replacing "Hats Off To Harper" with "Trouble In Mind" and finishing the album with "Hey Hey What Can I Do." I like it.
This gatefold cover exactly reproduces the original.
It is also nicely mastered. But, really, there is only so much you can squeeze out of original tapes.
I thought the vinyl had a bit of a rumble but it sure did not make it unlistenable.
7/22/2014 ETA: The "different packaging" is the European edition. I've no idea why Amazon US sent those instead of the American packaging (slightly different - and the US edition also has a Swan Song holographic sticker on the back.) FYI, for those who care. :)
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Zep were now able to fully showcase the "light and shade" approach to their music that sets them so firmly apart from the other bands of that era, and fairly much any "rock" band since. It is hard to understand how they ever got labelled as heavy metal when going back through these three albums because the breadth of the nature of the songs really stretches from the heart felt slow acoustic numbers, such as Tangerine, right up to the heavy rocking, but not heavy metal, full tilt sonic blast of the Immigrant Song. The remastering really coaxes out the sound of the acoustic guitars in a most delicious and convincing way. They now sound like instruments of steel and wood, rather than good impersonations of them.
The bonus cd has loads of absolutely splendid moments throughout. Highlights for me are the stunning version of Since I've Been Loving You, Page starting the tune of with a more subdued guitar line than in the main album version, which of course gives him greater scope when it comes down to contrasting the really powerful sections against the easy going ones.
Gallows Pole is a stunner and possibly better than the previously released version. JPJ has some great bass lines going on here, as he changes his timing, the way he adds ascending and descending arpeggios, when he kicks in with the melody and so on. Basically he is trying to see what he can do all over the place, perhaps with a mind to rein it in and pick the best bits for later. He is giving a free lesson for bass players in tasteful, supportive, yet highly inventive, playing here.
The final track on this bonus cd is a bare bones stripped right back to Page and Plant version of Key To the Highway/Trouble in Mind. Wow! Jimmy plays some seriously tasty guitar work, wonderful bluesy lines and chops whilst Robert plays wicked harmonica and then sings through the harmonica microphone with tremelo lashed all over it. A stunning combination and a clear example of why Zep were such a huge band. At the end of the day when all of the bombast and excess is cleared away music is right at the heart of the band and it shines right through everything they ever did. They connect with the listener.
1. Immigrant Song
3. Celebration Day
4. Since I've Been Loving You
5. Out On The Tiles
6. Gallows Pole
8. That's The Way
9. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
10. Hats Off To (Roy) Harper
Rather than release more of the same, Led Zeppelin turned things very much on their head with this, their “acoustic, folky” album. Yes, there is still the classic full on rock of “Immigrant Song” and the typical Led Zep blues rock of “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, but other tracks on this innovative album are somewhat different from what people had come to expect.
This album saw a clear change in focus for the band from late 1960s hard rock to a more folk influenced and acoustic sound. These styles had been present to a lesser degree in the band's first two releases, (“Black Mountain Side” from “I” and “Ramble On” from “II”) but here they received the main emphasis, and would remain prominent to various degrees in the group's later albums. This development is said to have endeared the band to many folky, bearded, cheesecloth-wearing prog-rock fans who would never previously have listened to Led Zeppelin's established blues and rock repertoire. With this album the group's songwriting dynamic also changed, from Jimmy Page's domination of the first two albums towards a more democratic situation in which all four group members contributed their own compositions and ideas - patterns that would continue in future sessions and no doubt led to the four symbols (one for each band member) being included on the cover of the next album.
That said, tracks such as “Friends” and “Celebration Day”, while having their acoustic moments, still are rock songs and contain some truly great lead guitar. “Out On The Tiles” is a powerful rocker that would not have been out of place on either “I” or “II”. Indeed, the old “side one” is pretty rocky, to be honest. So, the whole “the folk album” is a bit misleading. just as “Beatles For Sale” was not a “country album”. There are some tracks that certainly fit the bill, but not all of them.
It is “side two” which saw the real change that people are referring to and the use of the material recored in the Welsh Cottage, Bron-Y-Aur. “Gallows Pole” leads it off with an acoustic folk lament about being kept from the gallows pole and attempts to bribe a corrupt hangman. As well as the acoustic guitar and mandolin, there is still a potent rock drum sound from John Bonham and John Paul Jones underpins it with a rumbling electric bass. Plant’s voice, of course, is no folky whisper, either. Electric guitar kicks in at the end. Again, begging the question just how folky is it, really? Sounds like Led Zeppelin to me.
Using acoustic guitars was nothing new, The Beatles had used them a lot, also contemporary artists like Marc Bolan and David Bowie were merging rock and folk sounds.
“Tangerine” is a perfect blending of the acoustic and electric. Once more, the track has a great bass line and a truly huge drum sound. “That’s The Way” has a much more laid-back feel to it. Plant’s voice is gentler and another lovely bass makes the fade out so appealing. “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” is folky, for sure, but it is, as its name suggests, a stomper, and Plant’s voice is at its blueiest here, funnily enough. Even more so on “Hats Off” which I would say is bluesily experimental as opposed to folky.
Quite why this album garnered such bad reviews a the time is incomprehensible. Time has seen opinions change. however.
Led Zep III, with the wonderful Since I've Been Loving You, is a great album, which I've had and loved on vinyl for years.
Some time ago I bought the single CD digitally remastered version, and the sound was thin, with all the bass sucked out, and sounded nowhere near as good as the vinyl version.
This 2 CD version is in a different league. Superbly remastered (by a certain J Page) with a lovely open, detailed sound, bass is still present and NO COMPRESSION!!
The sound quality of this is SO good it may actually be better than the vinyl version (gasp!)
The other selling point I suppose is the second CD with the additional tracks, but for me its well worth the price just to get the superb sound quality, which apparently Jimmy's also done with the first two Zep albums (which are next on my shopping list
In retrospect we can now see `Zep 3' as a more mature release with the band stretching out to embrace styles other than R&B, hard rock and blues. Unlike the first two albums, they took their time composing and recording this one and it shows in the more complex and thoughtful musical arrangements. The developing writing partnership between Page & Plant, and the way the four gel at every level, comes through strongly.
So is it worth investing in this 2014 `2CD Deluxe Edition'? For my money the answer is yes.
The first disk contains the original album content, with more punch and significantly more nuanced detail evident in the mix. It's both richer and sharper than any previous CD release, and rivals the original vinyl album for warmth and overall sound quality.
The reason you should buy this package, however, is the material on the second disk. Some are alternate takes of the album songs from the same recording sessions, every bit as good in their way but slightly different. `The Immigrant Song' & `Celebration Day' are stormers. `Since I've been loving You', a gorgeous version of `That's the Way' and especially `Gallows Pole' with stripped-down sound, no piano and more impassioned vocal from Plant are - for my money - even better than the versions chosen for the original album release. `Jennings Farm Blues' is heard here for the first time, as is `Key to the Highway' - very reminiscent of the original closer `Hats off to Harper' with Plant playing some mean harmonica and reverbed-vocal over Page's busy acoustic slide guitar. The remaining two tracks are instrumental (or karaoke) versions of the originals: `Friends' and `Out on the Tiles' here curiously retitled `Bathroom Sound'. As other reviewers have pointed out, it would have been nice if `Hey Hey what can I do?' had been included too, but its absence doesn't really take away from the package as so much of the second disk is truly great.
The 1970 gatefold vinyl album cover was a real work of art, a rock classic (which the band reportedly didn't really like). Here it's carefully reproduced in detail with rotating wheel and myriad photo images visible through holes cut in a unique 3-gatefold sleeve. The 2x CDs bear the green/orange Atlantic Records artwork from the era. You also get a 16-page booklet with photos of the band onstage in 1970 and a couple of amateur snaps from Bron-y-Aur, the remote Snowdonia cottage where much of the material was conceived and worked out prior to studio recording. It recaptures the feel of the original twelve-inch gatefold album cover to near-perfection.
If you don't already have this classic, iconic album in your collection, this is the version to buy.
The album comes complete with the die cut cover and revolving wheel just like the original vinyl version. The cover like this is only available with import album box sets, so pleased to see a nice replica of the album
Go out and buy this, you will not be disappointed. These releases just prove why the band was and still remain the best in the world. Enjoy!!
Again great to have the bonus disc with alternate mixes and takes. Classic!